Clients & Testimonials

I first met Fiona Back in 2008 when she was recommended to me as i had just bought a 9 month old Welsh section D colt that had very very little handling.

I felt completely out of my depth as this was my first youngster so gave Fiona a call. Fiona came down to meet me and my baby and i knew whilst talking to her that she was the right person to help me. In the first year i had Chase Fiona came to my stables doing a lot of handling and ground work with Chase. It really was inspiring to watch Fiona work with him and taught me so much. Any questions i asked she was only a phone call or text away and never made me feel silly for asking something that would seem very simple to make sure i was doing right by my youngster. He became so much easier to handle and work with.

The Time came in summer 2011 for Chase (now 4) to go away to Fiona's for training and breaking. Fiona's place has a perfect set up and is maintained to the highest standard with the help of her partner Billy. They welcomed Chase and treated him as one of there own, i knew Chase was in safe hands. The whole time Chase was at Fiona's she kept me up to date with everything going on and letting me know how he was. I never felt excluded and was always made to feel welcome to go and see him being worked. Watching Chase over the coming months i could see him growing and really developing. His attitude when being worked was something i had never seen in him before, he was enjoying himself and trying so hard to please. Whilst Chase was away Fiona also helped me source his new tack as i was a bit clueless as to the saddle i was wanting to get him, after a lot of phone calls back and fourth to Fiona we found the perfect saddle for him! (Fiona really does have the patience of a saint the amount of calls i made!)

The time soon came for me to have my first sit on Chase, he was fantastic! I couldn't believe he was the same horse! I rode Chase a good few times in the school and we also went out on a hack. Myself on Fiona's beautiful grey gelding 'monster' as he is affectionately known and Fiona on Chase. Chase was brilliant!

After my last ride on him in the school Fiona was happy for him to come home.

Chase has now been back with me for 2 months and im really enjoying riding him as much as i can (weather permitting!) He has changed so much for the better and tries his best to please me. He has just recently had his first clip with Fiona and was very well behaved!!

I cant thank Fiona enough for everything she has done, i will be forever grateful. I would never use anyone else and cant recommend her more highly!! She has a fantastic and natural way with horses!

Thank you Fiona from April and Chase!!

Thanks Fiona for doing an absolutely fantastic job in starting Tabitha for me. You have a very natural way with horses and have done and excellent job with her. I am also very grateful for you being flexible with the times I came to your place to start riding her once she was ready to have me onboard. I really enjoy the way you teach me (and Tabitha) - not once have I ever felt inadequate or stupid about not being able to do something. I look forward to continue getting tutition from you now I have Tabitha home. I have no hesitation in recommending you to anyone! Thanks again,

My Highland Pony Milly went to Balhagan Equestrian to be broken, in spring 2008.

I was greatly impressed by the way Fiona treated Milly like one of her own ensuring she was safe at all times. The riding arena, stables and fields are kept to a high standard emphasising the professionalism of Fiona’s business.

Within weeks Milly was making great progress and it wasn’t long before I was getting involved myself. I was very keen to be involved so I could carry on the good work when I got her home.

Milly was my first youngster so I was in need of guidance and I felt I got this from Fiona. I was never made to feel like I had to be an expert and Fiona always took the time to answer my questions.

Fiona has continued to support me after Milly came home and I intend to carry on with lessons so we can both improve. Milly and I had a successful summer competing in-hand at the local shows and I believe I have Fiona to thank.

Lindsay Riddoch

Hi Fiona,

Firstly may I take this opportunity to thank you and Billy for making me and my family feel so welcome every time we visited your home. This attitude that you displayed made the experience of having our horse "away to be schooled* so much easer. You offered us an holistic approach for the purpose of having a safe happy horse, nothing appeared to be too much trouble for you and you looked at the whole package of horse rider and handlers'.

You gave my Daughter not only the skill to be able to ride such a green horse but the self confidence as well, on that subject you also gave my wife and I so much time and advice on the husbandry of looking after equines that our skills increased at each visit, You took time and a lot of effort to see what other aids could be put in place for our horse to make him happy. Safe, and healthy. May I also thank you for being so reliable and helpful when due to ill health we could not visit our horse for some time, you kept us updated on the progress of our horse and made us feel that we could fully trust you and your training plan and all that it included.

When it was time to bring paddy home you made sure that we all were competent and confident to do so, you made follow on trips to further enhance our skills and this gave us that secure knowledge that you were there for us. We can not thank you enough for what you and your family have done for us and indeed still are doing ( that even extended to Billy helping with homework ! )

So may I on closing sum up the experience of having you train/school/encourage and nurture our family on all aspects of the equine world in two words TRULY AMAZING


Oz Grady & family

I would like to tell the visitors to this web page of my experiences at Balhagan Equestrian Services.

After years of being a Mum with little time to myself, I decided that I would like to realise my dream of owning a horse again. Mac, a 2 year old Highland gelding, was sourced and over the course of the next year I visited him, groomed him and fed him carrots! The main problem was that I live in Midlothian and Mac was in Turriff, my “home” town! I also did not know anyone who would “start” and school him for me prior to bringing him South.

Fiona at Balhagan Equestrian Services was suggested and I telephoned her to arrange a visit.

From the first sight I was impressed. “The Stables”, secured by a gate to prevent escapees and unwelcome visitors, had well laid out paddocks and a lovely outdoor school sheltered by well maintained embankments. Everywhere I looked was ordered and tidy. Fiona greeted me with a big wave and I made my way down to the school to meet her. We chatted for a while and discussed the arrangements for Mac. During this time my first impressions of a well run, professional business were further compounded by Fiona’s cheery, kind and caring personality. I was left in no doubt that Mac was going to the right place.

Mac’s first few days were stressful for him and over this time I sent and made many texts and calls to Fiona. Never once did she make me feel a bother to her. She reassured me that all would be well and by the time I had spent my first weekend visiting Mac at Balhagan I knew without a doubt that she was right.

During this first weekend visit I could see that both Fiona and Billy really did treat Mac as a member of their own family and it was clearly visible how much they care for their own and other’s charges. Like themselves, their own horses Harley, Ollie and the loveable Ernie, complete with fly suit and weight reducing muzzle, are great characters!

There is an almost palpable feeling of peace and calm over “The Stables” and this together with Fiona’s relaxed manner makes it such a happy place for the horses.

I observed Fiona working with Mac and it was a truly amazing experience. She was so kind and gentle with him that it was no wonder he tried so hard to please her.

Over the ensuing weeks of further visits and many phone calls, Mac transformed into a well schooled, capable pony, even managing to develop his own fan club - sorry girls he’s not for sale!

With Mac well on the way with his schooling, Fiona’s attention turned to me! She sourced all the tack I would require and managed to get it at really great prices - thank you for the lovely “ bargain” bridle.

Equestrian Services

Past Successes and Horses

Past Successes & Horses - some of the horses I have produced of recent years.

Recent News

19 FEB 10Winter/Spring 2010 News

Click here for 2010 News!